AMENRA: Live II – album review – Live II (My Proud Mountain)
AMENRA describe their influences as ‘the last music on earth called up from out of the ashes of its ruin.’ This, their second live album, captures that feeling perfectly. Our review’s below.
AMENRA are from Belgium. With Live II they have made an album to be listened to fully, no half measures here. Turn off the lights, turn up the volume and close your eyes as the music gets inside you and you surrender to Amenra.
This is a huge sound. The shortest song on the album is over six minutes long, some stretch to over twelve. But even with the length of the tracks they never seem overblown or over long; they shift and change but they all lack any filler or flab, every single note is needed and fits into the music perfectly.
AMENRA command your attention, they have a sect, The Church of Ra, members of which number in the thousands, and they have released a book to explain their heart and inspiration to their followers. This release is their second live album but the first to be released on vinyl. It’s a recording of their Mass V release show from last year and is an utterly outstanding document of the band’s live prowess.
The songs switch and shift from bone crushing heaviness and tortured screaming to quiet sections of brooding menace and delicate sounds. They fit together like a river flowing gently and then hitting rapids and falls, an organic movement that’s been achieved with a mountainous amount of work. When AMENRA are loud, they are very loud, masses of guitars growling like the biggest storm you have ever seen, drums and bass rise and fall like an unstoppable force, they almost defy description with the sound they make.
It’s a slow; doom laden work, dark and immense. The contrasts between the quiet and loud make the record even stronger. They let you breath before crushing the air out of your lungs again. Amenra are right at the forefront of this sound and this album is excellent.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. His author archive can be found here.